The New York Times > Business > Intel's Big Shift After Hitting Technical Wall "Then two weeks ago, Intel, the world's largest chip maker, publicly acknowledged that it had hit a "thermal wall" on its microprocessor line. As a result, the company is changing its product strategy and disbanding one of its most advanced design groups. Intel also said that it would abandon two advanced chip development projects, code-named Tejas and Jayhawk.
Now, Intel is embarked on a course already adopted by some of its major rivals: obtaining more computing power by stamping multiple processors on a single chip rather than straining to increase the speed of a single processor.
Late last month, Current Analysis, a research firm in La Jolla, Calif., reported that for the week of April 24, the percent of personal computers sold using A.M.D. chips had surpassed those using Intel chips, with Advanced Micro at 52 percent of PC's sold versus Intel at 47 percent. It was the first time in recent history that Intel had lost its lead.
The company's new cooler dual-core approach will offer Intel room for growth, he said, permitting greater advances on energy consumption for future chips. A processor with two 2.5 gigahertz processors can outperform a chip with a single 3.5 gigahertz processor in certain situations, but getting full performance from dual-core processors requires special software that is only now becoming available for desktop PC's.
In fact, software developers may come to Intel's rescue. Future operating systems, like Microsoft's Longhorn version of Windows, due in 2006, are being designed to perform substantially better with multiple processors."